Equine flu update
Monday 25 March 2019

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Equine Flu update from British Carriagedriving

With the new season approaching British Carriagedriving has the following update in relation to the equine flu outbreak. Although it is less in the news than it was, it is ongoing and new cases are being reported each week.

British Carriagedriving rules require all horses and ponies to be vaccinated for equine flu, including booster injections at 12 month intervals. There are three additional points of note:

  1. The more horses and ponies that are properly vaccinated the better for all of us. If you know anyone whose equines are not vaccinated please take this opportunity to try and persuade them to get their animals properly vaccinated.

  2. The “strong recommendation” of the Animal Health Trust is that horses and ponies should in fact be vaccinated at six monthly intervals to obtain best protection. Please give serious consideration to this, especially if your horses and ponies will be mixing with other animals at events etc. Vaccinating every six months is not the same as vaccinating within six months of an event, so this recommendation goes further than the present FEI rule.

  3. There is some uncertainty as to the proper interpretation of the 12 month rule if your horses and ponies are vaccinated on the same day each year. For the purposes of the BC rule, this does comply with the requirement for boosters at 12 month intervals. Please note, however, that individual venues may have different requirements (and may require 6 monthly boosters) and different governing bodies may have different interpretations of the 12 month rule.

More information about the equine flu outbreak can be found on the
BC Veterinary advice and information page

Other equine flu information documents:

Equine flu Q&A from the BEF

Equine Influenza fact sheet and advice from BEF

Equine Flu information from British Equestrian Federation
Equine Influenza
BEF advice for
event organisers

(PDF document)

Monday 11 March 2019

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) continues to strongly recommend to competition and event organisers that they check the Equine ID Passports of all attending horses to make sure that they comply with vaccination rules. The BEF reminds organisers that it is vital that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other equines due to the increased risk of such an infectious disease spreading.

There are also potentially serious consequences for unvaccinated horses, especially youngstock, if they contract the disease. The BEF appreciates how hard responsible organisers and owners are working to prevent the spread of equine flu.

For those who would like further information, there is a Q&A on the BEF website and Your Horse magazine has produced a simple guide to the symptoms of equine flu and the steps you can take.

If you believe your horse is showing signs of the symptoms of equine flu, the BEF continues to urge you to seek the advice of your veterinary surgeon.

The BEF welcomes the fact that the majority of showing societies are mandating our recommendations at their larger shows and advising their regional shows to follow local veterinary risk assessments. BEF guidelines are based on advice from global experts in EI and epidemiology with experience of managing previous outbreaks.

Friday 1 March 2019

Throughout the current equine flu outbreak, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has continued to urge equine owners to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date.

The BEF has also strongly recommended that all competition and event organisers check the equine ID passports of all horses to ensure that they comply with vaccination rules. This is based on advice from experts in equine influenza and epidemiology with experience of managing previous outbreaks.

The BEF reminds organisers that, during the current outbreak, it is vital that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other horses because of the increased risk of such an infectious disease spreading. It is important that organisers and owners recognise that equine welfare is a priority and take steps to prevent the further spread of equine flu.

There is more guidance available on the BEF website and in our Q&A. (PDF document)

Friday 22 February

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) continues to closely monitor the equine flu outbreak and notes the latest update from the Animal Health Trust that there have been positive tests in Yorkshire, Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Kent.

Throughout this outbreak the BEF has urged equine owners to ensure their vaccination records are up to date. If it has been longer than six months since their last vaccination we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

The BEF continues to urge all competition and training event organisers to check the equine ID passports of all horses to make sure they comply with vaccination rules. A number of event organisers have put extra precautionary measures in place – as they are perfectly entitled to.

British Eventing have announced an updated vaccination policy for all their fixtures – effective from March 1st 2019. This will require all horses to have had a booster in the last six months and the injection cannot be given on the day of competition. There are more details on the British Eventing website.

British Dressage and British Showjumping continue to strongly recommend that horses attending events have a booster if their last vaccination was more than six months ago.

The BEF continues to remind all participants that they should check venue requirements before they set out.

Monday 18 February

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes that the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has reported more positive tests for equine flu over the weekend in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Norfolk and Buckinghamshire.

16 horses returned positive tests at one premises in Worcestershire. The AHT reports that this is thought to be related to unvaccinated horses coming into contact with other horses at an event. The BEF continues to recommend strongly that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other horses. Our advice remains that owners MUST NOT take their horse to an event or competition if horses at their yard appear to be unwell.

The current outbreak has demonstrated the importance of vaccinations and the BEF continues to urge all owners to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. If it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

The BEF has asked all competition and training event organisers to check the equine ID passports of all horses attending their event to make sure that they comply with vaccination rules. A number of British Eventing venues have put extra precautionary measures in place regarding flu vaccinations. We would also remind participants that they should check venue requirements before setting out.

Friday 15th February

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes the latest update (14.02.19) from the Animal Health Trust of more positive tests for equine flu in Worcestershire, central Scotland, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

For the latest information follow @equiflunet on Twitter.

The BEF is urging all competition and training event organisers to check the equine ID passports of all horses attending their event to ensure that they comply with vaccination rules.

We remind all participants to check the requirements of venues before they set out.

The BEF continues to urge all owners to be vigilant for the symptoms of equine flu and to alert their vet if they think their horses are showing signs.

All owners MUST ensure their vaccination records are up to date, and if it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

We also remind owners that any contact with recently imported horses represents an increased risk so owners should follow veterinary advice by isolating any recently imported horse for a period of at least 21 days.

Thursday 14 February

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes the latest update from the Animal Health Trust (follow @equiflunet on Twitter for more details) reporting more positive tests for equine flu in Sussex, Worcestershire and Leicestershire.

The BEF continues to urge horse owners to be vigilant for signs of equine flu and to alert their vet if they think their horses are showing symptoms.

As has been demonstrated in this outbreak, vaccinations are vital in tackling the spread of the disease so all owners MUST ensure their vaccination records are up to date. If it’s been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

The BEF notes that some venues are insisting – as they are perfectly entitled to – that all horses must have received a booster within the last 6 months. This is a decision based on a local veterinary risk assessment so we would remind participants to check the requirements of venues before they set off.

We also remind owners that any contact with recently imported horses represents an increased risk so owners should follow veterinary advice by isolating any recently imported horse for a period of at least 21 days.

Wednesday 13 February

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes the latest update from the Animal Health Trust (AHT) that there have been three further positive tests for equine flu in Kent, Derbyshire and central Scotland.

Although there have been a relatively small number of positive tests from the thousands of samples taken by the AHT, the BEF continues to urge horse owners to be vigilant for symptoms of equine flu and to call their vet if they think their horses are showing signs.

Vaccinations are vital in tackling the spread of the disease so all owners must ensure that their vaccination records are up to date, and if it’s been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination we recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

The BEF also notes that the AHT reports that in all 3 cases, the horses that tested positive were recently imported from Ireland or had had contact with other recently imported horses.

Therefore the BEF asks owners to consider that any contact with recently imported horses represents increased risk as there have also been outbreaks of equine flu in other member states including France and Germany.

All owners should follow veterinary advice by isolating any recently imported horses for a period of at least 21 days.

More information about the equine flu outbreak can be found on the
BC Veterinary advice and information page

Other equine flu information documents:

Equine flu Q&A from the BEF

Equine Influenza fact sheet and advice from BEF

Updates on twitter from the AHT - @equiflunet


 
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